Boing Boing's Holiday Gift Guide part three: Gadgets and stuff

Here's part three of the ongoing BB holiday giving guide, where I round up the bestselling items from this year's reviews on Boing Boing. Today it's gadgets and stuff (basically, anything that's not a book or a DVD or CD) and Boing Boing Gadgets's Joel Johnson's kicked in some of his faves, too!

Don't miss part one: kids' books and books and media about kids and part two: fiction!

Uranium Ore

Uranium ore for sale on Amazon
Original Boing Boing post


Gothy card-game challenges your ability to create misery
Original Boing Boing post


Nomic card game
Original Boing Boing post

Alice in Wonderland Tattoos

Alice in Wonderland temporary tatts
Original Boing Boing post

Gerber 22-41770 Artifact Pocket Keychain Tool

Adorable Gerber pocket multitool
Original Boing Boing post

Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool

A full-featured Leatherman tool whose every non-essential surface has been swiss-cheesed with holes to lighten its weight to a mere five ounces.
Original Boing Boing post

Nexcare Duct Tape Bandage

Nothing butches up your wounds like an official duct tape band-aid.
Original Boing Boing post

686 Original Snow Toolbelt

Belt buckle with integrated toolkit
Original Boing Boing post

MSI Wind U100 Netbook Most netbooks have about the same specs, but the Wind is a favorite for how easily it can be hackintoshed into running OS X. Original BBG coverage
Lippi Selk' Bag 1 It's a sleeping bag you can wear around the house, footie PJs for adults. Original BBG review
Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG9 Camcorder More functions than a Flip Mino, with replaceable flash memory and a real optical zoom. Original BBG Coverage


  1. Those are two of the worst games I have played.

    Both are very random and lack interesting decisions.

    I would recommend “Bohnanza” and “No Thanks!” respectively as alternatives.

  2. I love how Amazon says that people who bought the uranium also bought: Forbidden Lego; Futurama – Bender’s Big Score; and a Dremel set. I’d call Homeland Security.

  3. Invictus, agreed! These gift ideas are so much more educational, thought provoking, interesting, and useful than the usual craptastic plastic battery eating shit that fills shelves, closets, and landfills.

  4. I’ll second the nomination for Gloom, it’s one of my favourites.

    Infernarl is right that there aren’t many important strategic choices you can make, but that isn’t really the point. The real fun of the game comes from the storytelling to explain how these bizzarely tragic events came to pass for the characters. It’s one of the funniest games I’ve ever come across for a group of friends. Learn the rules inside five minutes, still remember them after you’ve had a few drinks and use the game to guide the funniest and most twisted stories that your group can invent. The way we play, winning is almost secondary to telling a fun story as a group.

    I’ll admit that I’m with Infernarl on disliking Fluxx though. The game objectives change wildly almost every round, so who wins or loses is almost entirely random. That said, it’s very popular as a light social / party game among my gaming friends, so do try playing it if you ever get a chance.

  5. Fluxx is great, but Zombie Fluxx is a much better variation that I recommend. Fluxx is also one of the best games every to play while drinking beer, if and only if no one in your party is an angry drunk.

  6. Fluxx is not a game for, well, gamers. Strategies in Fluxx are very short term. As someone who generally doesn’t care for gaming in general (I think I’ve finished two computer games in my 43 years) I enjoy Fluxx. It might be because it offers someone who doesn’t like strategy a chance to win (although you still have to pay VERY close attention, which frankly is the ONLY strategy of the game) or it might be that it does try the patience of those that believe all games should be winnable via a set of fixed rules. One of the joys of the game for me is exactly that: the rules lay themselves out before you as you play so memorizing the rules isn’t possible. If you like winning games as opposed to playing games, yes, Fluxx is not a game you want to involve yourself in.

    As said, Zombie Fluxx is significantly more enjoyable because it is a more complex game with the addition of “Creepers” (basically negative versions of the Keepers in the form of the undead).

    Looney Labs was working on a Martian Fluxx, but it seems to have been delayed in favor of making money off of licensing out Monty Python Fluxx.

    One of the best elements of Fluxx that they don’t publicize enough is that you can buy blank cards and make your own rules. And the game can be adjusted at your leisure to make the rules more fixed (there are no rules saying you can’t remove cards before you start playing). I like the whole open ended thing of it all I guess, and being someone who isn’t good at games in general but enjoys playing games socially, I find Fluxx a lot of fun.

    Plus, beer. You gotta play it with beer.

  7. I totally agree with #8, Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx are both great card games, i’ve owned them both for a couple of months and I’ve enjoyed the time spent with them, I also highly suggest picking up the newest version of Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx! (

    Also if you like Fluxx and Gloom, I’d highly suggest Munchkin which is a card game, and Munchkin Quest ( which is the board game version of Munchkin, I haven’t played Munchkin quest yet but I know it will be on my wishlist this coming holiday.

  8. I have yet to try Gloom, and I’ve only played the kiddie version of Fluxx. My favorite in the “silly random card game” genre is Cheapass Games’ “Give Me The Brain!“, in which you play zombies working at a fast food restaurant. Everyone has to finish their jobs for the day, but some difficult jobs require a brain, and there’s only one to go around, so everyone fights over it. Contains hilarious cards like “What’s That On The Sneeze Guard?” and the Dog Brain, which isn’t as good as the human one but will do in a pinch.

    My kids and I love to play this. As a bonus, for the d6 that represents the brain I got a 6″ pink foam-rubber die at a party store, for extra braininess.

  9. I’m wondering what conclusions to draw from the fact that a lot of people who looked at the uranium ore ended up buying Liquid Ass fart spray.

  10. that there Leatherman got me a-thinking. (maybe a standing BB Gadgets thread to brainstorm harebrained engineering concepts? Joel?) My Leatherman/Gerber etc. over the years has been indispensable. It occurs to me that we all rot. Grip strength flees, either by time, wear or injury.
    Every used a wrist brace? From carpal tunnel or other ailment? Concept: rigid (or not,semi-rigid, soft with rigid titanium cage?) wrist brace. Perhaps a clam-shell cast affair? Fiberglas? High impact plastic? Covers wrist/lower forearm, braces weakest point of flexion for leverage strength. On back hand surface, hard mount folding blade, saw blade. Bottom fist smallish circular hammering plate, Cross palmn tool hold strap. Some kind of strap wrench with strap folded, velcroed back when not in use, hmmmmm,

    It won’t make sense to you until you’ve lost at least partial use even temporarily. Could be preventative too,depending on work. Anyone seen anything like that? (the Takuhand, trademark not registered.)

    ooh,throw in an LED flashlight and make everything out of carbon fiber.

  11. Hi guys,

    Just FYI, I tried to order copies of the Alice In Wonderland temporary tattoos from Dover for my bookstore, and it turns out they’re out of print. :-(

    Thanks for the lists, though! I’ve stocked nearly everything else (and yes, I already had loads of “Little Brother”)

    Take care,

  12. odd – this page won’t let me log in, unlike other pages?

    Fluxx is a *great* game – if you can’t find strategies in it, you’re probably thinking too deeply, or maybe not deeply enough, though I agree with csbmonkey that it’s a game for people who enjoy playing rather than people who enjoy winning. And some of the rule sets were a bit better than the others (I think we’re currently using 3.1? The different editions add or subtract a few cards.)

    The one variant that didn’t seem as playable to me was Stoner Fluxx; perhaps because we didn’t have the appropriate accompanying materials (:-), but the fact that the cards aren’t all unique affects it a lot (e.g. there are lots of Weed cards.)

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